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France rolls out new initiatives to mark World Aids Day

People hold ribbon cut-outs as they pose during an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign on the eve of World AIDS Day in Kolkata.
People hold ribbon cut-outs as they pose during an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign on the eve of World AIDS Day in Kolkata. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
2 min

Just ahead of Saturday’s International Aids Day, France announced it would start reimbursing prescription-bought condoms to combat the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

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The move will make France one of the few European countries to provide such a reimbursement.

The caveat, of course, is that those seeking to buy the condoms must have a prescription.

French-owned Eden condoms were chosen as the brand to be covered by the state by 60 per cent.

The move by the health ministry was applauded by the company in a statement that said such an initiative sent “a strong signal that it [a condom] is not a sex toy but a real and indispensable prevention tool" in the fight against sexually transmitted infections.

In France alone, Agnes Buzyn, the health minister, said some 6000 new cases of HIV were diagnosed in 2016, down five percent from 2013.

That makes the total number of people living with HIV to over 172,000.

In an effort to bring the down the rate even more, the city of Paris also announced on 27 November, Aids-testing centres throughout the city for free and with no prescription required.

Paris Sans Sida (Paris with no Aids) says the idea is to facilitate access to screening.

Having awareness of the virus means transmission can be easily in place, such as the use of condoms.

The initiative to free screening centres will also be tested in the southern city of Nice in 2019.

World Aids Day was founded in 1988, making it the first global health day, as a means to commemorate those who died from AIDS-related illness during the peak of its epidemic.

Throughout the world, countries held different sensitisation campaigns aimed to pass the message of “No Glove, no Love” to the younger generations.

In the Canadian province of Ontario, the “No Glove no Love” commercial made the rounds targeting young 20s crowd.

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